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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 2, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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more likely the chick is female. good news for the chicks atop city hall in san jose. >> nice to see them. thanks for joining us. the surge. unemployment plunges to the lowest level in more than five years. where the jobs are and why it's not all good news. deadly vie lus for the first time showing up in the u.s. tonight. a warning from the cdc and there is no known cure. and count enskounterror. the spectacular show causing so much excitement in california. "night lie news" begins now. >> from nbc world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening.
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i'm lester holt. sitting in tonight for brian. as president obama dangled the threat of tough o'er action against russia, the crisis in ukraine took a dangerous and deadly new turn today on the ground and in the air. as ukrainian forces in the east launch a major counter offensive against pro russian insurgents who then shot down two ukrainian helicopters. but the conflict has spread to southern ukraine. a country increasingly divided against itself, coming closer to the brink. we get more from our british partner itn. >> the term civil war should not be used lightly, but tonight, ukraine appears to be perilously close. >> the southern port city of odes odessa, a city split between those loyal to russia and those to ukraine. the two sides fought in the city center and the result was a
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bloodbath. more than 30 known to have died, and it is likely to have been more. unlike the east of ukraine, pro russians cannot dominate here. normal ukrainians, young women, middle aged mothers, joined in on the fight. the police were nowhere to be seen and there was little they could have done. it is when the pro ukrainians got on top that it became really deadly. driving their opponents into a trade union building that they had been occupying. eight occupants are believed to have died jumping from windows. the smoke killed dozens more. as many as ten are thought to have died elsewhere with evidence of live ammunition being used. the country is on a very dangerous spiral into chaos. an attempt by the ukrainian government to restore its authority in the east halted as two military helicopters were quickly shot down. the flash in this picture
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believed to be the moment one was hit. the ease with which that happened and this footage suggests some very sophisticated weaponry is being used. the ground assault on slavyansk also broke down. we found these ukrainian troops laid up on the outskirts. this is just one part of the ring that ukrainian forces have now thrown up around the town of slavyansk where there was a pro-russian road block. they've taken it over, set up their own. there are armored personnel carriers stationed up there with dozens of troops. but confronting them here, angry villagers furious about what's happened this morning. they are the soldiers of their own army, yet these people see them as invaders come to occupy. i'm standing here to stop ukrainian troops getting into slavyansk, this woman told me. at another checkpoint nearby, they went further trying physically to block the path of armored vehicles. repeated volleys of shots fired
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over their heads doing very little to deter them. if they do try to move into the center of slavyansk, dozens, possibly hundreds of well-organized defenders are there to meet them. they have captured armored vehicles and some are very professional-looking troops in a city still full of civilians it would get very ugly. the danger is that this is the moment that russia's president putin has been waiting for. some suggest has been working for to intervene militarily. his tanks are just across the border. he has already claimed the right to use them as self-appointed peace keepers in ukraine. lester? >> all right. james mates tonight, thank you. today president obama was joined by german chancellor angela merkel at the white house and warned that russia will pay a greater cost if it doesn't help de-escalate this crisis. more from our white house correspondent chuck todd. chuck?
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>> reporter: lester, a new warning from president obama to russian president putin today if he's caught meddling in the ukrainian election on may 25th. >> in short, they are making a weak russian economy even weaker. moreover, if russia continues on its current course, we have a range of tools at our disposal including sanctions that would target sectors of the russian economy. >> reporter: now, chancellor merkel and president talked about those tools today and here's what they agreed to. that beyond targeting individuals, they're going to have the new sanctions aimed at russian banking, weapons production, and energy. germany relies on russian energy, but merkel agreed to this to include it as long as her country's inevitable economic pain is shared with other countries. now, today's little meeting with president and merkel didn't go so well, apparently. the president still walking on egg shells over the whole nsa revelation that the u.s. spied on chancellor merkel. asked whether somehow she has trust that has been rebuilt with
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the president, she dodged simply saying, we have a few difficulties yet to overcome. lester? >> chuck todd tonight at the white house. thanks. house speaker john boehner began appointing a committee today to investigate the september 11, 2012, attack on the u.s. diplomatic post in benghazi, libya, that killed four americans including u.s. ambassador chris stevens. and separately the republican chairman of the house oversight committee, darrell issa, subpoenaed secretary of state john kerry to testify about the administration's response to the attack. skipping the usual step of issuing an official invitation to appear. a release of internal white house e-mails with new details about the response to the attack has raised questions among republicans about whether the administration was truthful about its initial characterization of the attack. and in afghanistan, a desperate search tonight after days of heavy rain triggered a landslide in a remote village in the northeast.
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at least 153 people were killed and more than 2,000 are missing tonight. about 300 homes were buried. that's about 1/3 of all the houses in the area. in this country, the news on unemployment took just about everyone by surprise today. 288,000 jobs were added in april. and that helped drive down the unemployment rate from 6.7% to 6.3%. a 5 1/2 year low. but it is not all good news. a lot of americans have given up looking for work altogether. nbc's tom costello has more for us tonight. >> reporter: the employment numbers today were far better than anyone expected after a brutal winter that seemed to put the brakes on the economy, evidence business came roaring back in april. 75,000 jobs created in the business and professional arena. 35,000 retail jobs. and more than 30,000 jobs in both restaurants and construction. >> all told, our businesses have now created 9.2 million new jobs over 50 consecutive months of job growth. >> reporter: among those hiring,
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microchip giant global foundries looking at 600 employees at a facility north of albany. starting salary for someone with a two-year degree, $40,000. but they must have both technical and personal skills. >> the ability to communicate and ability to work in teams, having analytical skills and problem-solving skills. >> reporter: plenty of big name companies are hiring., lockheed martin, ibm, and jpmorgan chase. where erica hall just landed a job in chicago after her savings nearly depleted. >> in a word, elated. i was ecstatic. so it was wonderful. >> reporter: but while employers did more hiring in april than at
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any time in more than two years, a dramatic 806,000 people stopped looking for work. many simply gave up. less than 63% of working age adults are now in the workforce. a 35-year low. >> we definitely have an issue of long-term unemployed that is a negative for this economy and for this jobs report where people are out of work longer than 27 weeks and seem to be dropping out of the workforce and no longer looking for work. >> hi, my name is ruth -- >> reporter: meanwhile at the university of maryland today, soon-to-be college grads were putting together video resumes. the latest tool in a competitive job market. >> i want to have employers to know my genuine intentions when i'm looking for a job. >> reporter: hoping for an advantage in an improving yet still challenging job market. we also learned today that there were more jobs created in february and march than first reported, but wages remain flat and the unemployment rate still high compared to other economic recoveries. lester? >> tom, thanks. the first case of a deadly and mysterious virus that until now had confined itself to the middle east has turned up in the u.s. in indiana. it's a respiratory virus more lethal than the flu called mers.
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it was first discovered two years ago in saudi arabia. today the cdc said it was only a matter of time before it reached this country. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has our report. >> reporter: health care officials are working to track down people who recently traveled the same route as a man the cdc says has tested positive for the deadly middle east respiratory syndrome virus. on april 24th, the health care worker traveled from riyadh, the largest city in saudi arabia to london's heathrow airport. from there it was onto o'hare in chicago. from chicago, the man took a bus to indiana. and on april 27th he felt ill with shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. on april 28th the patient went to the emergency room at a community hospital in munster,
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indiana. it was there he was diagnosed, isolated, and today remains in good condition. although a potentially dangerous virus, experts say the general population is really not at risk. >> there has not been a clear case of person-to-person transmission outside of the health care setting yet. so i think we need to keep this in perspective. >> reporter: health officials say the virus originated in the middle east, maybe in camels. it then infected human beings and has spread to several european countries. it's estimated to have infected more than 370 people in saudi arabia alone. resulting in more than 100 deaths. there is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccination for this emerging illness. this virus is not as contagious as influenza, but a reminder tonight that bacteria and viruses are a plane ride away in our ever-shrinking world that are only a plane ride away.
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lester? >> dr. nancy snyderman for us tonight, thank you. we're learning more about a story tonight that was just breaking as we came on the air last night. what was a plot to bomb a school and shoot students as they tried to escape. authorities say without a tip from a woman who saw something that just didn't seem right, they might not have been able to prevent it. we get more tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: chelsea shellhaas of waseca, minnesota, said she was washing the dishes tuesday night when she saw a young man walk through the back yard and enter one of the storage units nearby. thinking it looked suspicious, she called 911. >> the fact he was sitting here struggling for ten minutes trying to open the storage unit, something didn't feel right about it. >> reporter: police say the 17-year-old they found inside, john david ladue, was in the final stages of planning a deadly attack on his own school. >> he intended to set off numerous bombs during the lunch hour, kill the school resource officer as he responded to help, set fires, and shoot students and staff. >> reporter: in court documents, investigators say ladue obtained seven guns and built six working bombs. members of the bomb squad were
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shocked by the amount of bomb-making chemicals and components he amassed. police say ladue had been planning his attack for at least nine months recording in a notebook how he set off practice bombs in march near the playground of an elementary school. they say his plan was to shoot and kill his sister and parents at home, light a fire nearby to distract first responders, set off the bombs at school, and shoot students as they fled. >> new information has been revealed indicates that we have escaped what could have been a whorrifiwho rihorrific experien. >> reporter: investigators say ladue was ready to carry out the attack within the next two weeks and they say he might have if not for a woman who just happened to be looking out her window at the right moment. grateful parents have started sending her flowers. >> thank you, whoever sent them. they're very beautiful. >> reporter: pete williams, nbc news, washington. we're following breaking news right now and we have this update. >> good evening, a california jury has determined samsung infringed on apple smart phone
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patents and as awarded apple $120 million in damages. the verdict was just announced in federal court in san jose, california. the tech giants have exchanged lawsuits around the world for years over patents. apple had been seeking $2.2 billion in damages. they've been awarded just a small fraction of that. now back to lester holt in new york. >> ewe'll be right back.
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there is increasing worry in the west tonight about a dynamic that takes place each year starting about now. the santa ana winds. california is one of the few places in this country where the weather, in this case winds, moves from east to west. the winds blow like a furnace down the dry mountain and out toward the pacific. this week the santa anas are at it again.
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the fires have started as if on cue and people are bracing for a dangerous time ahead. we get our report tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: back from afghanistan air squadron 462, marines, are training for their next deployment. the front lines of western wildfires. the hills surrounding southern california are bone dry. three consecutive years of drought and rising temperatures are fueling fires. glen barley says his crews are facing what may be the most dangerous fire season yet. >> in 2014 we've had over a thousand fires here in california. in a normal year we'd have a little over 400 fires this time of year. >> reporter: there's been no winter break, no time off, no rest for these crews.
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throughout the west, bigger, faster, and more expensive fires are the new normal. the massive black forest fire of 2013 was the most destructive in colorado history. >> for this home, it's going to be too late. >> reporter: we were on the front lines as houses went up. ten months later, we've come back. the fire destroyed some 500 homes and claimed two lives forever changing the landscape here. today a third of the homes destroyed are being rebuilt. >> the fire literally ran up this hill into your home. >> right up this valley here. >> reporter: the black forest fire started in this family's back yard. they watched their dream home burn to the ground on live tv. >> we're going to do what we can to make the house as defensible as possible. >> reporter: their builder is using fire-resistant material. trees have been cleared from around the house. but this is still fire country. why rebuild here in the same spot, some place? >> it's a beautiful spot. we love black forest. it's a gamble i'm willing to
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take. >> this is where our heart is. >> reporter: tonight much of the west is a tinderbox. for so many who live here, nature's draw is also its danger. miguel almaguer, nbc news, colorado spring. we're back in a moment with surprising news today about something parents have been told for years.
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it's a fairly common problem. babies who sleep on their backs can develop a flattened skull, so doctors sometimes prescribe expensive custom-made helmets to correct the problem. but a new published in a british medical journal says in many cases the helmets may not be necessary. they found the improvements were not much different between the babies who wore the helmets and those who did not. our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is out taking the pulse of america. and tonight we're learning a little bit more about how some things have changed over the last 15 years. beauty may be skin deep, but americans are wearing their tattoos in plain sight. in 1999, just 21% said someone in their household had a tattoo. that figure has since doubled to 40%. among those 18 to 34, more than half say they have a tattooed member in their household. hey, remember newspapers?
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47% of americans say they read a print edition of the paper these days at least three times a week. that's down from 79% 15 years ago. replaced, no doubt, by tablets and smartphones, which by the way may also be making us a bit less social. but we're happy to report that despite all the distractions of modern life, the family dinner table is still intact. 58% of americans report they come together for a family dinner at least five times a week. practically unchanged from 15 years ago. maybe some food for thought when you try to wrangle the family around the table this weekend. there's extra buzz tonight in the city of memphis, tennessee. princes william and harry are in town to attend a friend's wedding this weekend. they were spotted last night having dinner at a restaurant downtown. and today they were spotted again. two princes paying a visit to the king himself. elvis presley's resting place at graceland. when we come back, close encounters in california.
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whales so close swimmers are almost able to reach out and touch them.
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finally tonight, it happens every year around this time. the migration of gray whales from the waters off mexico to alaska's bering sea. in between a chance for a closeup view of thousands of whales and their calves. and this year in california that view is closer than usual. we get more tonight from nbc's mike taibbi.
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>> reporter: even by the standards of the whale-rich california coastline, this was something. a gray whale venturing just yards from shore. a hot day with swimmers in the water, and neither they or the visitors seeming unhappy with the encounter. >> they started hanging out with the people and swimming next to them. it was insane. >> reporter: by one estimate, more than 11,000 gray whales make the trip from alaska in the fall down to bah dia california and back. there are occasional killer whales, blues, and humpbacks too. but the grays are the dependable show. doing the backstroke for this excursion boat in january. and often traveling in groups. calves and the odd dolphin in tow. this time so close to shore. >> i've never seen it with the swimmers. not next to them like that. that was the first time. >> yeah, it was crazy. i didn't really expect it at all. when people were yelling there were whales, i just didn't believe it.
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>> every person on the beach had their phone out or ipad taking pictures of the whale. >> reporter: in fact, this encounter was so close and so unusual, there were warnings posted on social media. we know the whales are way cool, but please don't swim up to them. for your safety and theirs. >> the mom's probably 40 tons. here you are a human being that's maybe 200 pounds in the water and you're not afraid of that animal. that's pretty special. >> reporter: but with the species protected, the biggest dangers to these northbound travelers are attacks by their cousins, killer whales. this was just curiosity maybe in both directions. mike taibbi, nbc news, los angeles. that's "nbc nightly news" for this friday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you a bit later tonight on "dateline" and then tomorrow morning on "today." good night.
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that breaking news from north san jose. the horrific car crash has a teenager girl and boy fighting fir their life. i'm raj mathai. >> that two-car crashed happened late this afternoon around 4:00 in the afternoon. police say a 17-year-old by was driving one of the cars. the car hit a pole, killed the 17-year-old female passenger.
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that car virtually cut in half. he's hospitalized with life threatening injuries. we told you there was a second car involved in this. a family was inside that, but they were able to all walk away unhurt. a teaj card was killed. and the driver of that car, a 17-year-old boy is in the hospital with life threatening injuries. we'll continue to follow the story and bring you any updates as soon as they become available. the ruling found today that samsung did infringe on two of apple software's patents. they must pay apple $120 million. the jury also found apple infringed on samsung technology and must pay samsung $158,000 in damage. this is the second legal fight between the two companies. apple won first back